Found in a sun-drenched spot between the Gulf of Mexico and Tampa Bay, holidays to St. Pete & Clearwater are perfect for relaxing. With 35 miles of award-winning shorelines and turquoise seas at your feet, there’s no wonder why these neighbouring towns make up one of Florida’s most loved beach resorts.
But this slice of paradise has so much more to offer besides white sand. The art scene is pretty spectacular too, from the famous Dali Museum to the amazing murals found in downtown St Petersburg (known locally as St. Pete). So if you’re looking for a beach getaway that combines outdoor adventures with a dose of culture, St. Pete & Clearwater is the place for you.
Just 90 minutes away from Orlando, St. Pete & Clearwater is the perfect twin centre option if you want to blend Florida’s theme parks with its incredible coastline. And thanks to the endless supply of white sand, you’ll find some of the best beaches in the US here. Make sure you tick off St. Pete first! Stretching for five miles, families will love the exhilarating mix of watersports and tasty food shacks. Then there’s Clearwater, with its sugar-fine sands, bustling promenade and nightly sunset celebrations at Pier 60. Prefer a sleepier shoreline? Look no further than Pass-a-Grille, a dune-backed stretch neatly tucked away from Florida’s high rises. Or if that’s not quite secluded enough, you’ll feel completely cut off at Shell Key Preserve, a barrier island which is only accessible by water.
Nature & wildlife
If you’d like to experience St. Pete/Clearwater’s natural beauty, watersports are among the top things to do in Florida. There’s something for all ages and abilities, from paddle boarding tours exploring the area’s mangrove islands to scuba diving trips taking you to some of the best dive spots in the Gulf. But there’s no better way to soak up that all-season sun than kayaking to Caladesi Island from Clearwater Beach. On your journey you’re likely to see exotic birds, colourful marine life, and maybe even a dolphin or two! Back on dry land, keen hikers can discover 8700 acres of wilderness at Brooker Creek Preserve.
Downtown St. Pete is a bustling hub of art and culture, which makes it the perfect home for the Dali Museum and Morean Arts Center. Take a tour around the famous Chihuly Collection, where you can view the best of artist Dale Chihuly’s work, which includes abstract glass sculptures and colourful paintings. Or why not head to the Morean Center for Clay and try your hand at creating your own masterpiece? Nearby, you’ll also find glass-blowing demonstrations at the Glass Studio & Hot Shop.
Bars & boutiques
St. Pete & Clearwater holidays have a great nightlife scene, complete with bustling bars, authentic breweries and chic rooftop spots. Affectionately known as the ‘Gulp Coast’, this Florida hotspot is home to the Craft Beer Trail, which has 30 breweries within an hour’s drive of each other (so you may need to appoint a designated driver). For a traditional people-watching pub experience, head to MacDinton’s Irish Bar, where flowing drinks and good times go hand in hand. And if you’re not ready to leave the beautiful beaches just yet, soak up the swanky lounge-style atmosphere at the Kimpton Hotel Zamora for cocktails and panoramic views across the Gulf of Mexico.
More travel guides
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